I've posted in this forum already about my trio. I have a bonded pair, Pumpkin (male, neutered) and Molly (female, spayed) who I'm attempting to bond with Bloo (female, spayed). Bloo has recently lost her husbun and has been desperate for bun company since he left us so she's very keen to bond and is putting up with an awful lot from the bonded pair.
Pumpkin and Bloo have lived in the same house for over a year and have been able to see each other through a fence. They're house buns but each had a partner and never bothered with each other. Molly is a fairly new addition as Pumpkin lost his partner earlier this year too. He bonded straight away with Molly.
I've had them sleeping side by side with a fence separating them for a few evenings and have done a few play dates. They've also had car journeys and bath time.
Pumpkin is the aggressor, he will charge and grunt at Bloo which then seems to make Molly follow and she'll try to slap Bloo. Bloo doesn't retaliate and mostly runs away but then I step in and stop them chasing her. She has given a few warning slaps and jumps over Molly, though.
Today we're trying a marathon bond. We've been at it in neutral space since 10am. They firstly went for a car journey then moved to a small neural space (the porch). Pumpkin was much the same but they started to eat together.
We then moved to a larger neutral area and he carried on with his charging & grunting but he's also cleaned Bloo's eyes a few times. She completely submits herself to him but he seems to test by nipping whilst cleaning her eyes so she backs off.
So far Bloo has settled and even bubbled in her sleep and the pair settle near her but not too close.
They don't let her use the toilet and the charging is odd and unpredictable. Molly and Bloo enjoyed a joint head scritch earlier but once it had finished Molly charged Bloo.
Not sure how long we'll be in here for but would appreciate some support and of course advice is very much welcomed!
Bloo appears to have no head on those photos, I promise you she does though
I think it's encouraging that they don't seem very aggressive. They just need time to get used to living as a trio and I am fairly sure the two girls will learn to share Pumpkin and settle down together.
In terms of progression, just all settling in an area with nothing separating them is a huge difference.
Eating together, sharing treats and a blanket is all new too.
The charging and grunts are fewer and further in between (although there mostly seems no sense to them still).
Pumpkin cleaning Bloo's eyes and Bloo snuggling her head with Molly for a scritch are probably the hugest signs of progression.
It no longer feels like they could erupt into a battle at any moment which I couldn't have said this morning but everyone is still very wary.
I think sometimes they forget Bloo is here as she's so quiet and blends into the rug
I don't think I've ever known a rabbit as patient as Bloo. We've had a lot of rabbits as we used to foster for a local charity but we've never bonded a trio and have only ever bonded pairs if they have shown willing, we've never forced a bond.
I am concerned that Bloo is just stuck in a corner, she does settle nicely there but if she leaves they'll charge at her.
How do you stop the charging? We intervene by either just stroking the charger or putting our hand firmly on their heads to stop them.
I looked up a few articles for you to read whilst watching them:
(scroll to the bottom)
At the end of the day, the rabbits have to sort themselves out.
One interesting idea I read was to put them all together on your knee and stroke them. I would find that difficult as they would leap off!
Thank you so much for that, that's so kind of you. I could definitely do with something to read, as beautiful as my babies are I've been staring at them now for 9 hours
If I attempted to put them on my knee I think Molly would climb all the way up onto my head, Pumpkin would jump off and Bloo would kick me, repeatedly I suppose the idea is keeping them together, snuggled, off the ground and calm by stroking them so I could maybe put them in their tray together and lift them then stroke them. Could be a good idea for the next time a charge happens, thank you for that!
Well when you put it like that .... I may have a foursome to bond soon If I got a high enough sided box, I could do that, and stroke them too. There's something to be said for them having each other's scent on them. But when they come out of the box I bet they would groom themselves for a long time to get my scent off them